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98-year-old breast cancer survivor cheering for a cure at this year's Komen race

Ruth Claiborne's family has dealt with several forms of cancer, which is why she tries to make it to every Komen Race for the Cure she can.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — When you get to Ruth Claiborne's house in West Knoxville, you'll see a few old Knox County school buses sitting in the driveway.

"Honey, if I could drive a school bus for 41 years -- I can surely sit on a tractor for a little while," she said.

The 98-year-old doesn't drive anymore, but she still mows her own lawn on her riding mower and cooks her own meals.

And once a year, she goes to her favorite Knoxville event, the Komen Race for the Cure benefiting breast cancer research.

RELATED: Knoxville woman chooses joy while living with stage four breast cancer

"I was in the very first one that was formed," said Claiborne.

That was in 1997, five years after she fought and won her battle with breast cancer.

"It's a bad disease to get that's all I can tell you, it's bad," she said.

Claiborne is pretty independent after losing her husband, both kids and parents. Almost all of her immediate family members died of cancer.

"My mother died at 45 with breast cancer," she said. "My daughter died in 2001 with breast cancer."

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That's why she is a big part of the Race for the Cure.

Claiborne has walked the race, ridden in the pace car, and just loves the all-pink atmosphere.

Even dealing with some skin cancer spots now, Claiborne is not giving up the fight.

"I'm 98 years old. This skin cancer's not gonna kill me," she said.

Claiborne's actually doing pretty great.

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"I feel fine now. My legs hurt some when I'm walking but other than that I'm grateful every day when I wake up," she said.

She doesn't want to see anyone else go through the struggles with cancer that she and her family faced.

"Get help. Get help as soon as you can when you think there's cancer there," said Claiborne.

Get help -- so at 98, you can still be living like Ruth.

The 2019 Komen Knoxville Race for the Cure is Saturday, Oct. 19 at World's Fair Park.

RELATED: Need to Know: Komen Race for the Cure 2019

If you don't want to run or walk the race, you can hang out with Claiborne as she cheers people on from the sidelines.

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